Colorado Rapids vs Columbus Crew SC
MLS Regular Season, Week 13
May 25, 2019 - 7:00 PM
DICK'S Sporting Goods Park - Commerce City, Colorado
Crew SC arrives in need of goals, points
Columbus Crew SC (5-8-1) is coming off of back-to-back losses against Los Angeles FC and Minnesota United FC. The Black & Gold have been held scoreless since May 8, only taking 12 shots over the past two games. Crew SC have now scored just 12 goals across their 14 matches, tied for second-lowest total in the league, and have netted just five times during their current 1-7 skid.
|Columbus Crew SC||5-8-1||14||12||0.86||151||44|
“The bottom-line is that we are not scoring goals," said head coach Caleb Porter following Saturday's 1-0 loss. "We have to look at how we can create more chances.”
In addition to their offensive woes, Crew SC also find themselves dealing with lingering injuries on defense. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen has been noticeably absent during the Black & Gold's last two games due to a nagging foot injury.
“He thinks he maybe kicked something during in the game Wednesday or took a knock in the game Wednesday and it gradually got worse and worse," said Columbus head coach Caleb Porter said following the LAFC game. "He’s in a walking boot, he couldn’t put weight on it. We had him come in this morning to see if he was any better and it wasn’t any better.”
In addition to Steffen, outside backs Milton Valenzuela and Harrison Afful are both out long-term, while left back Waylon Francis was also injured prior to the LAFC game.
Rapids look to carry momentum
The Rapids will be looking to build off of their first win of the season which came Sunday against the LA Galaxy. Rookie forward, Andre Shinyashiki fired a rebound inside the post in the 82nd minute after following up on a saved shot by former Columbus Crew SC player, Kei Kamara (2006-07; 2015-16).
"Tonight should give us a lot of confidence," interim head coach Conor Casey said postgame. "We've been working so hard and they (the players) haven't stopped believing in each other. To pull through the way we did tonight showed a lot of character and we have a lot of games left this season which should give a lot of those guys in that locker room confidence in what we're doing going forward. We're going to be a real threat to other teams."
Next up for the Rapids is a test against another founding MLS club, Columbus Crew SC. Throughout the two club's 24-year history, they have met 41 times in the regular season, resulting in a 19-13-10 overall record. Columbus has only beaten the Rapids four times away from their home turf, with their last win at DICK'S Sporting Goods Park in August 2015.
What to watch for...
Jordan Angeli, Radio Analyst
The Rapids left LA on Sunday with three points and a big sigh of relief for what could be the start of an uphill climb. The Rapids will be eager to ride the confidence of the win and look to notch their first three points at home as they face a Crew SC squad coming off of two tough losses against Minnesota United FC and Los Angeles FC.
If the Rapids play it right, there could be more opportunities to build off the solid performances by Jonathan Lewis and Sam Nicholson over the weekend by throwing them forward into attack. Keeping track of Gyasi Zardes in the middle and denying service into the box will be key defensively for the Rapids this weekend.
Connor Cape, Radio Play-by-Play Announcer
The Rapids continued their undefeated head-to-head streak against the LA Galaxy and picked up the first clean sheet and win of 2019. With four of the next six matches at home, this could be what catapults the Burgundy Boys on a good run of form heading into summer.